Author, Entrepreneur, Activist
Annie Krabbenschmidt, MTS Class of 2007
"I always felt torn by the two very distinct sides of my brain, balancing what I believed were competing career desires: On the one hand I want to help solve problems of social inequity and on the other, I want to make art. In fact, I’ve never felt more seen than when Dave Baker wrote in my eighth grade report card that I was often more interested in making the class laugh than solving problems.
What I didn’t realize was that allowing these two sides of my thinking to work together would lead me to build a truly fulfilling career for myself. While I was at Duke getting a master’s in public policy with a focus on social policy, I realized that my role in influencing social change would be in impacting culture. Creating art, whether it is in writing, storytelling, comedy, or cartooning, is my way of connecting to people and telling them why they should care about important cultural issues.
My first book is coming out this June, and with it I’m starting a press called Radical Queer Dinner Party Books (RQDP Books). My goal is to build a press that specializes in supporting queer and marginalized writers so that we can do the work of uncovering narratives that have been (and in many states still are) intentionally suppressed. It’s hard work, and I am still working on building something sturdy and long-lasting. But I know the project is one that will sustain me, because of how much it matters at this time in history."